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Hurricanes!! :O

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Lansing, Michigan
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1,141 posts
6 reviews
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Hurricanes!! :O

It's hurricane season, so I have a few questions.

1) When there is a mandatory evacuation for Key West, does everyone HAVE to evacuate, or can homeowners stay "at their own risk"?

2) Is there a place for residents to go once they get out of the keys?

3) If a tourist flies in and has to evacuate, but planes are not flying out, what happens to them?

Thanks in advance!!

Key West
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for Key West
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1. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

1) Homeowners can stay at their own risk, knowing that in an emergency there may be no help.

2) There are shelters on the mainland.

30 There will be buses running to take you to Miami. They also put on extra planes flying out as long as it's safe.

UK
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for Florida
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46,646 posts
22 reviews
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2. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

1' it is not forced but highly recommended.

2 if you are an owner ask your home owners insurance. i would make a reservations by CC before the storm hits for a motel on the mainland. There will be shelters, but I would not want to be in one.

3 What Should happen is that you are evacuated by bus to a shelter on t he mainland. What happened in NO during Katrina was you were on your own if like most americans like me you were not in possession of a rental car. As you were left to survive the Superdome on your own.

Personally I like to take into acct my own safety and survival. So I plan accordingly and make sure I can drive, that I have at least once CC for emergencies-and that I keep an eye on the weather far out if I am in FL during the season, esp the Keys.

In other areas of FL, to evacuate you need to get over one bridge to the mainland. With the Keys you have to get over many, and unlike most barrier islands you don't have 2 or more bridges, you are limited to one long causeway with many bridges.

Fort Lauderdale...
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for Fort Lauderdale, Miami
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3. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

Most airlines will offer the chance to change your flights without fee's etc before the storm hits. Normally there are several days notice before service is disrupted.

Lansing, Michigan
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1,141 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

Thanks all! I have sat out some "close" hurricanes when we lived in Cape Coral. Never had a direct hit, but the canal water rose over our docks and up the lawn, lol!

I can't even imagine the traffic on US 1! Yikes!!

conn
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1,499 posts
141 reviews
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5. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

According to most sites I checked, Cat 1 and 2, shelters available, cat 3 or higher they won't open. This forces evacuation. Not much info on the buses on any sites I checked.

Lansing, Michigan
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1,141 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

I went to the Key Citizen newspaper and they have lot's of information on their first page that you can access on line. Shoulda thought of that in the first place, doh!

Tampa, Florida
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36,382 posts
11 reviews
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7. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

they will not arrest you or cart you away if you don't evacuate under a mandatory evacuation order.

They will, however, make it abundantly clear that when the weather starts to really deteriorate, do not expect to pick up the phone and have them come out and save you. They will not put their own lives and the equipment that they will desperately need in the coming days at risk for someone who didn't have the sense to go when they were told to pack it up.

And they won't -- every time a storm hits, there's a story about somebody who decides that someone should come get them in the worst of the storm but had to figure out how to deal with it all on their own. One of the few decisions for which there are no re-dos.

There's generally 72 hours or more warning -- plenty of time for there to be no excuse for someone to say they got caught unaware.

Lansing, Michigan
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1,141 posts
6 reviews
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8. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

Maybe a Key West resident can tell us how things used to work before The Weather Channel, the National Hurricane Center, et. al, were in service. How did anyone know a hurricane was coming, say, in the 50's???????

Key West
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1,662 posts
17 reviews
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9. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

I wasn't here in the 50's. That was long before my time. I arrived in 1990 and experienced several tropical storms and scares before Hurricane Andrew. The Keys were cut off from the main land even though we had power thanks to then CIty Electric System's power plant. We were all watching the reports of the Upper Keys and Homestead on CNN. I distinctly remember them reporting that all communication lines to the Keys had been cut and the Keys were assumed to be devastated. Sadly we were unable to call out to friends and relatives for several days to let them know we were alive and well. During Hurricane Georges, I evacuated to a building that I managed at the time. It had 24 inch thick concrete walls. We were were able to make it back to my house I and others had to use a chain saws to start cutting my way back into our neighborhood. (Emergency Ops folks were still in assessment mode) Neighbors that stayed in our neighborhood were cutting their way out. It took over 3 hours clear the debris to go about a mile to my house. Several hours later the fire dept came by to check and see if we were OK. We were without power for nearly 2 weeks at my house and without water for 3 days. Damage to my house was in excess of $20k. The next big hit was Wilma There were several other scares and smaller storms before Wilma. Each did a bit of damage but not like the water from Wilma.

I currently run the Construction Dept. for a communication company along with my duties at Kingbird Charters. I have coordinated the Monroe County Hurricane Recovery for the company I work for for the past 10 years. I am also the Chairperson for Keys Energy Services Advisory Committee. (District 2 Representative) I follow hurricanes and storms closely. We DO NOT use the Weather Channel. The National Hurricane Center, National Weather Service and Monroe County EOC are the official sources and the ones that everyone should be paying attention too. The rest of them all collect their data from these sources and add their own "spin" and hype to it.

Fish hard,

Bonez

PS If it is requested as a tourist that you evacuate for a storm please do so. This permits the workers that are taking care of the hotel you are staying in to take time off and prepare their own homes and business. It is a stressful time for us facing the possibility that we may loose everything we own, we don't need to worry about our guests too. Also if you are here after the storm, emergency supplies that could go to help locals that live here will be directed to help you. Sorry for the rant.

Key West
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1,662 posts
17 reviews
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10. Re: Hurricanes!! :O

Also in the 50's they could predict that hurricanes were coming just not as accurately as they can now. I've talked with lots of old timers and they normally had very little prep time. 12-24 hours

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